The Best Affordable Running Shoes in 2018
Finding a great affordable running shoe can be extremely difficult.
Your sizing may be different than others. The stamina saving features that you’re looking for might be hard to find at an acceptable price point. Sometimes it’s hard to find a shoe at the right price point that has the right aesthetics, too.
Luckily, many of the leading manufacturers have affordable running shoes for sale, so it’s just a matter of thinking about the features that you need the most and then picking one of their offerings.
If you’re wondering which are the best and most affordable running shoes, we have the list for you.
In this article, we’ll go over eight of the best affordable running shoes and tell you how the features of each shoe make for a comfortable and easy run.
Brooks Launch 5
The Launch 5 is the epitome of an affordable running shoe. The Launch 5 is extremely lightweight, clocking in at 212.6 grams. That means you’ll never become more encumbered than the bare minimum with the Launch 5.
You should be able to run at your natural maximum without worrying about your shoes holding you back.
Aside from its light weight, the Launch 5 has a medium-high foot arch, which makes it much more comfortable than other running shoes if you have a high arch. Having a high arch is often incompatible with many flat-foot style running shoes, so the Launch 5 may be especially desirable.
The Launch 5 also has a bio-gel midsole cushion which conforms to your feet and reduces the chance of getting blisters.
In the sole, the Launch 5 has a specialized thatch pattern which allegedly helps to maintain proper running form by promoting heel to toe transitions.
- Good aesthetics
- Great for people with high arches
- Inexpensive, even for an affordable running shoe
- Not for runners who need support
- Not as plush or cushioned as more expensive shoes
New Balance Zante v4
The Zante v4 is another lightweight, affordable running shoe that combines stand-out aesthetics with a variety of features in the upper mesh that are designed to improve your comfort.
The upper mesh of the Zante v4 is the main draw of the shoe. The mesh conforms to the shape of your foot and lower heel better than many other affordable running shoes might, which means that you’ll expend less effort on the upswing of your legs.
The middle piece of the Zante v4 is standard foam, which should feel exactly like you’d expect typical foam to feel. You’ll get an average amount of fatigue reduction from the foam.
The sole of the Zante v4 is its weakest feature, but it’s still quite good. The Zante v4’s sole is made of rubber, so it will feel somewhat springy and prevent your falling feet from connecting with the ground too hard, which is great for running on pavement.
- Stand-out aesthetics
- Great upper mesh system for superior comfort
- Durable sole
- Easy to fit
- Average foam midpiece
- Rubber sole
- Upper lip may be uncomfortable for some people
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34
Nike’s Air Pegasus 34 is a great standard running shoe for people who tend to get hot feet when they run. The flymesh system dissipates heat much better than other running shoes, which will help you stay cool throughout your run.
The Air Pegasus 34 is also great for people who often run on rough terrain because its sole has a bit of flexibility. This means that the shoe will incur less damage from running on rough terrain, and your foot will receive less shock from each downward stroke of your feet on uneven surfaces.
The Air Pegasus 34 will perform well on asphalt, too. The sole has a rubber strip which should help you to transition from heel to toe when running on flat surfaces. Unfortunately, the sole of the Air Pegasus 34 is a bit thinner than one might expect, so it isn’t as comfortable running on asphalt as other shoes.
Finally, the Air Pegasus 34 feels more lightweight than it is thanks to its foot-hugging mesh and minimal foam. These features make the shoes more agile, but less durable because they have less material.
- Flymesh prevents heat buildup in upper foot
- Classy aesthetic
- Great for people with low arches
- Flexible sole for easier navigation of obstacles
- Sole isn’t durable
- Back lip may be uncomfortable for some people
- Only average traction
Brooks Ravenna 9
The Ravenna 9 is a great running shoe for people who need a lightweight shoe and who have relatively small or flat feet. The Ravenna 9 also offers a lot of support, which means that if your foot fits the pattern that the shoe caters to, you’ll experience unparalleled comfort.
The Ravenna 9 is rare because it has two separate sole and gel systems. One of each system is for the front pad of the foot, and the other two are for the arch and heel. This sophisticated feature set means that the shoes will feel much more comfortable when you’re using a proper running form.
The BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning helps to create a light and responsive feeling from the shoes, which means that you’ll have an easier time accelerating and decelerating. This makes the shoes great for running on curvy roads or trails.
As far as running shoes go, the Ravenna 9 is the best that you’ll find if your feet are flat. The upper mesh is also helpful, as it is engineered to diffuse heat. This means that you’ll stay cooler than you would with other shoes on your longer runs where your feet muscles reach their limit.
- Dual-cushion and sole design
- Extremely comfortable
- Great for those with flat feet
- Great for small feet
- Easy to fit
- Aggressive aesthetics
- Mesh isn’t durable
- Soles can get hot on long runs
Saucony Kinvara 9
The Saucony Kinvara 9 is a sophisticated running shoe which fits like a glove and promotes a natural running stance which will cut down on the stress incurred on your feet during long runs.
To accomplish this, the Kinvara 9 has an Everun topsole, which provides a springy cushioning that’s extremely durable and adds a lot of comfort to the shoe. Though it can get a bit hot, it provides a maximum amount of cushioning on the regions of your foot that will be stressed the most.
Beneath the topsole is the main sole, which is flared such that the heel is several times thicker than the footpad region. This is abnormal for a running shoe, but it’s the secret ingredient which makes the Kinvara 9 promote a healthy running stance.
Maintaining a healthy stance reduces fatigue during longer runs, and more importantly, saves your loadbearing joints like your knees. If you have issues with knee inflammation on longer runs, the Kinvara 9 is probably a good choice to address the pain.
Finally, the Kinvara 9’s traction system is minimalistic but effective. The traction is best for running on asphalt, as it’s not as durable as the traction systems on other running shoes might be.
- Promotes natural running stance for joint comfort
- Carefully designed to provide assistance exactly where it is needed
- Tightly hugs foot
- Weak traction
- Less-durable than other running shoes
- May be hard to use if you’re not accustomed to running with a natural stance
Hoka One One Cavu
The Hoka One Cavu is a running shoe for those that prefer agility yet have flat or wide feet. Using its low-cut design, minimal support, and minimal stability, the Hoka One Cavu has many features designed to help you achieve quick starts and stops.
Though the shoe is heavier than other running shoes, they provide a remarkable amount of agility thanks to its Profly cushioning system which allows you to sacrifice proper form when it doesn’t matter as much, like when making rapid stops and turns.
Because of the shoe’s close fit and mesh system which has a slight give, stopping and starting with these shoes won’t incur as much stress on your ankles as other running shoes might. Some users have complained about the shoe’s close fit because of their thick ankles.
The Hoka One Cavu may be slightly uncomfortable for people with thick ankles or long toes because of the shoe’s light padding around the ankle and toe tips respectively.
- Heterogenous stiffness Profly cushioning for regional comfort
- Low cut for greater breathability
- High energy return from each step
- Extremely responsive
- Understated aesthetic
- Less cushioning than other Hoka running shoes
Nike Free RN 2018
The Nike Free RN 2018 is the most affordable running shoe on the list. The Free RN 2018 has a huge foam pad as its sole, which is connected directly to the user’s foot in the floor of the shoe. As there’s no midsole, the shoe is light despite its large appearance.
The Free RN 2018 feels exceptionally springy as a result of its single foam sole design. This means that you’ll have an easy time maintaining your pace on longer runs.
Additionally, the Free RN 2018’s shape results in a neutral step if not compensated for; this means that you will get the best results out of this shoe if your running posture is good.
The Free RN 2018 sacrifices some features to be affordable, however. The shoe is ugly; the color selections are minimal, and the shoe’s ungainly shape attracts negative attention.
Additionally, the shoe’s sole has highly effective traction, but the traction system is very fragile and will flake away after the shoe has gone through enough stress. You’ll also need to have good running posture when you purchase the shoes, as they have no features to assist your posture.
If you can get around the shoe’s aesthetics and cost-saving measures, the Nike Free RN 2018 is still a great affordable running shoe for people whose feet are of average dimensions and who have learned the proper running form.
- Very springy
- Durable heel area
- Durable toe area
- Heel and back of foot area get hot quickly
- Poor traction
- Back upper lip is uncomfortable
- Toe area can be cramped
The Adidas Aerobounce runs a bit on the more expensive side for an affordable running shoe, but its high breathability and close fit make for a great running shoe. Because of the shoe’s low-heat and close-fitting design, you’ll be able to run for long periods of time without sweating as much.
You’ll also feel that the shoe is very responsive. The shoe’s sole is highly cushioned, which makes longer runs even easier despite the shoe’s slightly hefty weight. The sole is also great for rain conditions, which is great because you won’t need to worry about it falling apart when wet.
- Highly cushioned
- Simple aesthetic
- Cool venting on mesh
- Great for those with sensitive Achilles’ tendon
- Close fit for great agility and stamina
- Neutral arch can be hard for people with a high arch or flat feet
- Upper lip can be slightly uncomfortable for people with thin ankles
The Best Discontinued Running Shoes
Discontinued running shoes are sometimes some of the best running shoes that you can find. Often there’s just something special about a certain shoe, and when it comes time to buy it, we’re met with the unpleasant surprise that the shoe is no longer on the market.
It can be tough to find any information on discontinued running shoes, however. Manufacturers don’t want customers hunting for shoes that they no longer make, and many sports stores may sell out or not have any knowledge of the older models.
In this article, we’ll break down a number of the best discontinued running shoes so that you’ll know what to be on the lookout for. We’ll break down our reviews into discontinued running shoes available in the spring/summer and those that start to go on sale in the fall/winter.
Our reviews are for the most recent discontinued model of that particular running shoe. Depending on the time of year, you may or may not be able to find them in all sizes and colors. Often, you’ll have to sacrifice your favorite color to find the right size.
The running shoes listed here typically get updated in the spring, so look for them to start appearing on sale between April and early June. Often these get sold out fairly quickly – so you’ll have a harder time finding these shoes on sale in the late fall through early spring.
Brooks Ghost 9
The Brooks Ghost 9 is a simple yet effective running shoe that you can purchase for dirt cheap now that it’s discontinued. The Brooks Ghost 9 is great for those who have a high arch and those who need superior comfort at the expense of the shoe’s agility.
The shoe’s sole is for people who need assistance when making long runs on asphalt while retaining agility. This means that you’ll have an easy time maintaining your stride and you won’t lose much energy on turns. For road races, this is the ideal running shoe.
The Brooks Ghost 9 has a few issues that are addressed in its updated version, however. The Brooks Ghost 9 has a reputation for being flimsy at the seams. You may need to replace this shoe after a relatively short time.
- Great for people with high arches
- Great for those who need lots of cushioning
- Average aesthetics
- Very inexpensive
- Tends to tear at seams sooner than other shoes
- Tends to run small
- The upper lip can be uncomfortable with people who have large ankles
Saucony Ride 9
The Saucony Ride 9 is a balanced running shoe that’s ideal for people with flatter feet who need extra traction and efficiency in their running form. The shoe’s traction is exceptionally good thanks to its special hashed design and rubber material.
The traction system means that you’ll have an easier time starting and stopping your runs. The Tri-Flex outsole is slightly flexible, which means that your heel will incur less stress on the rest of your foot after it strikes the ground and you shift to your toe.
Finally, the Saucony Ride 9 as an Everun topsole, which is designed to reduce pressure in your forefoot. This shoe has one system for reducing pressure on your heel, and another for reducing pressure on your foot pad. This means that your feet won’t get as tired after long hours of jogging.
- Great for those with flat or wide feet
- Multiple padding systems for each region of the foot
- Great traction system
- Comfortable mesh and toe region
- Back lip can be uncomfortable
- Midsole may be too springy for some people
- Doesn’t handle moisture as well as other shoes
Hoka One One Clifton 3
The Hoka One One Clifton 3 is an award-winning roadrunner’s shoe that novices and experienced runners alike will enjoy. The Clifton 3 won Competitor’s Best Update in 2016, even though it was discontinued recently afterward. Nonetheless, this shoe’s uniquely large sole system is great.
The Clifton 3’s large sole means that it’s a little bit heavier, but the springiness and comfort provided by the large sole more than make up for the weight. Additionally, the shoe’s sole has several heat bevels, which means that the bottoms of your feet won’t get hot during long summer runs.
The Clifton 3 has a deep cut around its ankle, which should provide superior ankle comfort and coolness. The rest of the shoe’s meshing is loosely fit by default, which means that it’s a bit more comfortable for people with large feet.
Finally, the shoe’s traction system is fairly good, but it does add to the heft of the shoe. This means that you might feel as though the shoes are slowing you down at times, even if they’re making your paces less effortful. You should be all set for very long road runs when you’re wearing this shoe.
- Great heat-shedding features
- Good support
- Good for those with wide feet and average arch
- Very comfortable
- May feel heavy
- Doesn’t support one region of the foot more than any other
- Traction may be more than is necessary
Asics Gel-Kayano 23
The Asics Kayano 23 is massively discounted thanks to being discontinued. It’s also a great shoe for people who have issues with poor running posture, particularly overpronation.
To address overpronation, the Kayano 23 has a DuoMax support system in its midsole. The support system is at a slight angle, which means that the foot is only engaged when necessary. This feature can make a big difference for people whose leg muscles are unevenly developed or who are recovering.
The gel midsole of the Kayano 23 also adds a lot of shock absorbance, which is also very helpful for those who are recovering from an injury. You will probably incur less inflammation on your joints if you use this shoe.
The shoe also has a heel clutching system, which drastically improves the heel’s comfort, movement, and striking. Especially if you tend to have a sensitive heel, these shoes will provide you with the support and additional features that you need to maintain long running times and frequent starts or stops.
Finally, the Kayano 23 features advanced midsole technology which reduces the tooling or shearing incurred on your arch and also the shoe. You’ll experience a more efficient gait when you run with these shoes and be able to run much farther as a result.
- Overpronation protection for help with posture
- Great for sensitive heels and joints
- Efficiency-increasing midsole
- Highly durable
- Deeply discounted
- Doesn’t provide as many benefits for those with good posture
- Can be tough to fit properly
- Less comfortable for those with flat feet
- Toes may be cramped and uncomfortable during deceleration
Brooks Glycerin 14
The Brooks Glycerin 14 shoes are great for people with sensitive knees and joints because of their massive cushioning at multiple points.
Aside from their powerfully cushioned sole, the shoes offer a large amount of support for your arch, which means that the shoe is extra effective for those with high arches. Furthermore, the shoe’s arch support is part of the meshing. The shoe contorts smoothly with each step, which adds durability.
Reviewers praise the Glycerin 14 for its ability to prevent additional pain caused by shin splints. Other reviewers claim that the shoes are helpful for dealing with their sensitive Achilles’ tendon. For the most part, these features are also helpful for healthy runners, though you may not notice the help.
These shoes are effective generalist shoes and should help you run more comfortably and efficiently in any use case.
- Great for sensitive joints
- Great for recovering from injuries
- Great for those who need high arch support
- Easy to fit for all but those who have flat feet
- Mediocre aesthetics
- Laces are very short
- Toe region tends to fray
These running shoes are most popular models that typically go on sale in late summer/early fall. Start looking for your favorite pair to go on sale in September or October.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 is an inexpensive discontinued running shoe that’s great for cooler weather because of its slightly insulated mesh. Though you’ll still feel the chill of the wind, these shoes will still be slightly warmer than other running shoes.
At the same time, the GTS 17’s mesh system is breathable for moisture, which means that your feet won’t get sweaty as they might in other winter running shoes.
Additionally, the GTS 17 has a highly durable and treaded sole. You won’t be slipping in light winter slush, nor will these shoes disintegrate after a few runs in the mud. You may find the meshing slightly difficult to clean, but not significantly beyond other sneakers.
The GTS 17 is slightly heavy as a result of its insulation and supportive midsole. Though the shoe’s midsole is supportive, the shoes still work great for people who have shallow arches. The fit of the shoe tends to be closer to agile than relaxed, which means you’ll need to take more care when fitting.
Finally, the GTS 17 has a progressive diagonal rollbar midsole system, which helps ensure your proper running posture if you’re prone to overpronation. This feature means that your gait will be more efficient if your posture isn’t great.
- Highly durable shoe
- Excellent treading
- Breathable mesh
- Helps with proper posture
- May feel tight when properly fitted
- Some reviewers complain about lack of cushioning
- Average aesthetics
Asics GT-2000 5
The Asics GT-2000 5 is a highly technological shoe which has several gel systems and posture-improving features. These features include an impact guidance system, which helps maintain a highly efficient natural posture.
Other features include gel cushions for the heel and toe, each of which is designed to diffuse impact pressure into the shoe. This means that your body won’t become as stressed by using these shoes when you run. The additional comfort in the sole will help to keep you going on long runs.
Finally, the shoe has a unique feature: engineered lace eyelets. The lace eyelets are such that the shoe can have a close and highly comfortable fit, but not feel tight.
- Separate rearfoot and forefoot gel padding systems
- Vertical flex groove insole to increase gait efficiency and shoe durability
- Meshed eyelets for laces to reduce the feeling of tightness while maintaining fit
- The removable sock liner is easy to wash
- Rear lip may be uncomfortable
- Front lip may be uncomfortable
- Shoe region may be uncomfortable during deceleration
Brooks Ravenna 8
The Brooks Ravenna 8 is a dirt cheap discontinued running shoe that uses a minimalistic feature set to the advantage of the experienced runner. With these running shoes, you’ll get a modest amount of cushioning and support in an agile and springy design.
You’ll do best with these shoes if you already have a good running posture and you’re looking for a winter shoe that’s light on weatherproofing but durable enough to take some abuse. The shoe’s blown rubber outsole is simple but effective. Its main draw is that it’s practically indestructible.
Many reviewers claim that the Ravenna 8 is a better walking shoe than running shoe because of its basic comfort. Unlike other running shoes, the Ravenna 8 isn’t going to grate against the back of your ankle, your toes, or the front of your foot.
- Great for people with long feet or flat feet
- Very durable sole
- Breathable toe tips
- Ugly aesthetics
- Plastic components on the side may scratch and discolor
- Center strap of the saddle may tear over time
Saucony Guide 10
The Saucony Guide 10 are discontinued, but they have a great feature set that includes a flexible sole and springy cushioning that’s ideal for flatfooted people. Though the shoe is a bit heavier than other running shoes, it’s still extremely springy.
Interestingly, the shoe is indicated for asphalt and track use, even though its flexible sole and plush cushion make it tough enough to handle off-roading. The shoe isn’t waterproof, but it is insulated enough to keep your feet at a decent temperature during the cold winter mornings.
The shoe’s tread is special because it’s linked in with the sole’s shock diffusing system. This means that even though the shoe is relatively small, it can protect your feet from a large amount of the stress that heel strikes incur.
- Great for shallow arches and long feet
- Good for off-roading
- Superior quality tread and sole system
- No additional cushioning on the heel
- Back lip can be uncomfortable
- Laces can fray easily
Asics Nimbus 19
The Asics Nimbus 19 is great for neutral runners thanks to its foam sole technology. The midsole provides great springiness right in the food pad and great shock absorbance in the heel. This feature means that your heels will be less stressed. Your gait will also require less effort to maintain.
The shoes also have a few posture improving features like a striped hatch in the sole. These features mean that you’ll have to expend less energy to maintain a good posture. If you don’t yet have a good running posture, these shoes will be a great aid in developing one.
Finally, the Nimbus 19 uses a no-stitching design, which makes the shoes far more durable. Additionally, the no-stitching design reduces points of blistering and irritation on your feet, so you’ll have more comfortable long runs and shearing during turning.
- Very inexpensive
- Good aesthetics
- Helps to develop and maintain good posture
- Multiple shock and spring systems
- Upper lip may be uncomfortable for people with large feet
- Toe region may become hot
- Heel region may be awkwardly large for people with narrow hips